Before I was born, my grandfather owned a pizza parlor in the Bronx. As a result, homemade pizza has always been a staple in my house. We make it the Italian way, meaning that the cheese goes on the bottom and is topped with sauce and parmesan cheese. This, added with the fact that I am a native New Yorker, means that I am very picky about my pizza. Needless to say, Domino’s and Pizza Hut (and, let’s be honest, Boston pizza) just don’t cut it. Going with the motto that if you want something done right you should do it yourself, I decided to make my own pizza this week. Although I would like to be able to say that I made the dough myself, I will admit that I was lazy enough to use the Trader Joe’s garlic and herbs one that tasted so good on my calzone last week. In making the pizza, I decided to go a little out of the box, choosing to top it with some of my favorites – butternut squash and pesto! I got the idea from a cooking light recipe that I saw, which I adapted very slightly. The flavor combo was delicious, pairing the sweetness of the squash with the saltiness of the cheese and pesto. All around the perfect meal to start off my first week of classes for the spring semester, but also my last semester as a college undergraduate.

Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash

Adapted from Cooking Light, serves 2

For the pesto…this makes twice as much as you need for a two serving pizza but I decided to use half of it on sandwiches for the week.
1 tbsp pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups basil leaves
salt to taste

Puree the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor until ground. Add olive oil and puree until a paste is formed. Add cheese and basil. Add salt to taste. Process until reaches desired consistency. I added a few drops of water as well to thin it out a bit.

For the pizza:
1/2 lb trader joe’s pizza dough
2 slices provolone cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
20 oz butternut squash (half of a squash)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp oregano

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Dice the squash into small pieces and toss with sugar and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once half way through.

2. Once squash is done, raise the oven temperature to 450. Roll out the pizza dough onto a floured pizza pan. Top with provolone cheese and tomatoes. Mix butternut squash with pesto and pour onto the top of the pizza. Top with oregano and parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once midway through.

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4 Responses to Pesto Pizza with Butternut Squash

  1. ttfn300 says:

    ooh, this pesto-butternut combo sounds intriguing!!

  2. Joanne says:

    ttfn300 – I thought so as well but the flavors actually meld together pretty nicely. I’ve also had sweet potatoes with pesto before, which is another unexpected but great combo.

  3. Kevin says:

    I like the sound of the sweet squash and pesto combo on a pizza!

  4. Wic says:

    since we have each Sunday pizza this sounds like a nice combination for next week.

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